Nina Fagerstrom joins forces with Éric Levallois in Normandy…

Finland’s Nina Fagerstrom and Talent

It has been confirmed from Haras de Beaufour, that Finland’s Nina Fagerstrom will join forces with French World Champion Eric Levallois in Normandy, France. Haras de Beaufour expressed their great excitement to unite with one of Finland’s most celebrated and recognized talents. “We’re very excited about this new partnership” said Julie Pellerin of Haras de Beaufour. Nina, along with her partner Alexander Rohling of Canada, will be moving to Normandy, France in a couple weeks time. Nina and Alexander formed FINCA Sport horses over a year ago and have both expressed excitement to move FINCA south to Normandy, France.

“Eric Levallois started a breeding stable a few years ago in addition to his competition stable in Normandy next to Deauville, France. The breeding Haras De Beaufour has already produce top competition horses such as the mare of Sheika Lathifa AL Maktoum Peanuts de Beaufour, winner of already two CSI3* Grand Prix titles in the Emirates and Quapitola de Beaufour. However, as Eric stopped riding three years ago we were looking for someone to compete the top horses of the breeding and after a few try’s we have just found the perfect match, Nina Fagerstrom.”

“There is no need to introduce her, she is one of the top riders of the world and we believe that by joining forces and creating this partnership, she will be soon back to the top level. We could not be happier to have found her and her partner and are looking forward to start this new adventure with them. For the moment Nina will be riding the horses from FINCA, the horses from Haras De Beaufour and two of our top Grand Prix horses. Nina will focus on the sport and work her way back to the top, and continue to give her very successful and highly in-demanded clinics. Alexander and Eric will join forces and work together to promote sport horse sales.”

Nina and Eric Lamaze winning in Paris in 2011
Nina and Eric Lamaze winning in Paris in 2011

Nina will be riding Eric Levellois’ top-level mounts, Extra van Essence, owned by Sylvie Levallois and the lovely stallion Quebracho de Semilly, owned by Richard Levallois. Previously ridden by Clement Boulanger of France, both horses will now be seen under the Finnish flag. Both Haras de Beaufour and Nina Fagerstrom were competing in Valencia, Spain this Spring for the 2013 Mediterranean Equestrian Tour and it was there where it was discovered that a new partnership could be formed. Nina has previously ridden for Stephex Stables between 2001 and 2006 and then again between 2007 and 2012, riding top mounts such as Talent, Mouse, Viva and Uruaquay under the Stephex banner. Nina won the 2011 CSI5* Grand Prix of Mechelen with Viva as well as a 4th place finish in the CSI5*-W Grand Prix in Helsinki in 2011 with Talent for a very excited home crowd. In 2011, Nina and Talent paired up with legendary combination Eric Lamaze and Hickstead for the CSI5* Saut Hermes pairs competition held in the beautiful Grand Palais in Paris, France. Nina and Eric won the €100,000 Le Saut Hermès event, with a time that was over six-seconds faster then the second place finishers. Nina and Eric were the only combination to both jump double-clear.

Previous rider for Haras de Beaufour, Clement Boulanger, has taken a position riding for Belgium’s Stephan Conter of Stephex Stables and will base himself out of Brussels for the near future.

Speaking with Finland’s Nina Fagerstrom, it is clear that the well-recognized Northern European rider is very excited about her new partnership with Haras de Beaufour. “I really like Eric. I think he is a real horseman. I like his way with the horses” said Nina. “I lived in Belgium for 12 years but this is an amazing opportunity. It is a change, but it is now or never.”

“It’s really an honor to work with Eric” admitted Nina, referring to the well-respected French Champion. Eric, who was a member of the 2002 World Championship Team for France, won Gold aboard his famous stallion Diamant de Semilly. Eric and Diamant de Semilly were a well-regarded combination during their time, having earned a long list of accolades for the French flag and the despite suffering serious injury after an almost-fatal car accident in 2009 which affected his ability to ride at the international level, Levallois remains a very prominent figure within the sport. Eric trains United Emirates rider Sheika Lathifa AL Maktoum.

“We are convinced that thanks to this new partnership we will be soon hitting the international scene with success.”

Speaking with Eric, it is clear that the prominent French rider is very much looking forward to the newly formed partnership. “I couldn’t be happier to have found Nina as I am sure we found the perfect match to bring my horses to the top level. Nina and I share the same vision of the sport and I am excited to return to the top level, this time as a trainer and breeder. I look forward to many good results in the future with Nina.”

Source: Haras de Beaufour

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